Billy Bob Brockali, or Billy Bob for short, was the mascot of ShowBiz Pizza Place. He was one of three bears and one of the singers and was the bassist in The Rock-afire Explosion (the other being Beach Bear as the other guitar player and both him and Choo-Choo being the other two bears). With the exception of a diagnostics video and a period in the mid 1980s where ShowBiz Pizza Time produced its own Rock-afire showtapes to save money, Billy Bob has always been voiced by Aaron Fechter.
Billy Bob debuted as Billy Wilbur, a character in The Hard Luck Bears animatronic show (which had another bear named Billy Bob). Billy Bob's first appearance at ShowBiz Pizza Place was as a walk-around character at the first ShowBiz location at Antioch Shopping Center in Kansas City, Missouri. The character was named after two people; ShowBiz Pizza founder Bob Brock, and Creative Engineering artist David "Billy Bob" Irvin. At the request of Stan Emerson, who worked for the advertising agency hired by ShowBiz, Billy Bob was given red and yellow overalls, the colors of ShowBiz Pizza.
Billy Bob's first appearance as an animatronic character was with the launch of The Rock-afire Explosion. Billy Bob originally spoke with a heavy country accent, but this was later softened. Originally, as with Rolfe and Earl, Billy Bob and Looney Bird never interacted with the other stages, implying that they were originally intended to be a stand-alone side act.
Billy Bob's stage, shared with Looney Bird, was designed to resemble a gas station. It contained elements such as a backdrop with "Smitty's Super Service Station,", a gas pump, and an oil barrel. Some skits were written around the Smitty's theme, discussing Billy Bob's invention of gasohol (also called "Goofy Gas"), an alternative for gasoline that was also drinkable.
In the later years of ShowBiz Pizza Place, Billy Bob's stage was redesigned as "ShowBiz Pizza Campground". In this new stage design, the Smitty's backdrop was removed, Looney Bird's oil barrel was repainted green, the trees from center stage were relocated to stage left behind Billy Bob, and a new lamppost with a sign reading "ShowBiz Pizza Campground", in the style of the later logo, was installed. This stage was exclusive to ShowBiz Rock-afire installations. Rock-afire shows at other restaurants retained the Smitty's backdrop.
During Concept Unification, which occurred at most of the ShowBiz Pizza locations between 1990 and 1992, Billy Bob's animatronic was completely removed from the stage (both the prototype and the final), though Looney Bird's animatronic remained (as Pizzacam). After these events, his animatronic was most likely either destroyed, put into storage, or sold to a collector.
In Popular Culture
Billy Bob Brockali was famously seen photographed along with "Dick" the Birthday Boy, in the accompanying image. Richard Evans is a member of the prominent YouTube channel, RedLetterMedia and the photograph achieved mainstream popularity for a time after being featured on the show of disgraced media star, Ellen Degeneres.
- ^ "Animatronic Rock!". Branded in the 80s. 2011-02-28. Archived from the original on 2013-01-13. http://www.webcitation.org/6Dd8eSOrp. Retrieved 2013-01-13.
- ^ "ShowBiz Pizza - The Rock-afire Explosion". VoiceChasers. http://voicechasers.com/database/showprod.php?prodid=4858. Retrieved 2013-01-13.
- ^ "The Rock-afire Explosion - History / Evolution". ShowBizPizza.com. http://www.showbizpizza.com/rae/history/index.html. Retrieved 2013-01-13.
- ^ a b c "Billy Bob Brockali". ShowBizPizza.com. http://www.showbizpizza.com/rae/characters/billybob.html. Retrieved 2013-01-13.
- ^ "Goofy Gas" skit
- ^ "ShowBiz Pizza Campground Stage". ShowBizPizza.com. http://www.showbizpizza.com/rae/stages/campgroundstage.html. Retrieved 2013-01-19.
- ^ https://knowyourmeme.com/memes/dick-the-birthday-boy